Training Vs Genetics?

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Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Densa44 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:36 am

The older I get, except for the health of the dog, more and more of what people hope they are buying is IMO training.

Even the people who are using a "let the birds train your dog" methods are training. I know a fellow who has trained more than 35 FTch/AFTch (BLs) over the years and some of the dogs were IMO dogs that I wouldn't feed but this handler finished the dog. He used to say "you can teach a dog anything" it is apparent that HE could teach a dog anything.

There are lots of posts here about how to pick a puppy from a litter, which pups will do well and which ones won't, and on it goes.

IME to predict how well a pup will do, have a good look at who is holding the leash.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby orhunter » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:15 pm

A trained dog is for someone with the time on their hands to do so. Such a person could train a Border Collie to fetch ducks and such. Most of us aren't willing to take on the task.

You are correct, "let the birds train your dog, methods are training." We are simply creating realistic situations from which the dogs can learn correct behavior. What it won't do in most cases is create a finished dog or one that will earn the coveted 204 because of the nature of the test. So, we need to look at dogs not as training vs genetics but training and genetics. That Border Collie may be a trained dog but it won' make much of a hunting dog without the genetics.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby oldtimer » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:40 pm

If you have good genetics, the training is minimal. I FF my dogs, teach them "here" and hunt them 5 days a week. They catch on quickly. My DD knows hand signals, and I never trained her on them.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Doc E » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:08 pm

here is a picture of Tucker(avatar) when he was only 3 months old, so he had nothing but puppy training.
he tried to pick this goose up in various spots, but it was too big for him to lift.
He studied the goose a minute and then grabbed it right behind the head and pulled it backwards for the "retrieve"...............Purely genetics.
Image

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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby slistoe » Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:39 pm

How is the saying? You can't make a purse from a sow's ear?

There are likely a lot of dogs that will never see their full potential because of who is holding the leash. But it is the combination of training and genetics that makes good dogs great.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby slistoe » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:03 am

In regards to FC retrievers - I don't believe you can teach the level of marking and memory that is required, nor can you put the drive in them. There are a lot of other things you can work around that would probably make the dog unsuitable to most folks, but if the dog is not genetically gifted with sufficient levels of those three things I doubt than anyone would ever place with them in a field trial.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Doc E » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:42 am

Good dogs are born --- Great dogs are trained.

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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:10 am

I think genetics matter far more than training because you can do nothing to change genetics but can do a lot in regards to training. Great trainers (which I am not) can make a lot of dogs good. But Great in my eyes requires genetics.

This discussion would depend on a lot on what defines a great dog in someone's eyes. In mine it is the dog that never stops digging, searching and finding birds when other dogs get tired and slow down. The dogs that adapt and are successful at many tasks, feathers, fowl and fur. The dogs that search, point, retrieve, mark, handle, and track equally well. Unflappable in many different settings on many different birds. A dog where you must call a halt to searching for a lost bird vs the dog making the call. A dog that thinks nothing of it's own safety while recovering ducks and geese - swimming between ice floes in river current in subzero temps on a day when 40 or more ducks and geese are brought to bag. (vs a 10 minute swim in July or August in hunt test).

Hunt tests are of necessity too short to determine the heart and bottom of a dog. Rather day after day out on the road in new territory hunting and new birds are the kinds of experiences which provide the measure of greatness in my view.

A poor trainer can both ruin or inhibit a genetically blessed dog for sure so they absolutely matter. But a great trainer cannot turn out a great dog if they are starting with a genetically inferior dog. The dog will show well in a hunt test but will not rise to the top when hunting over the long haul is my view.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:43 pm

I don't believe a great dog can be made by training alone. You can make a mechanical dog, you can not make a great dog. Any reasonably well bred dog will hunt with little to no training. If they know NO and HERE, they're huntable. When you expand into a good waterfowl dog however, the plot thickens. in my opinion though, genetics are everything. For me, no matter how well bred, a dog will not be great unless it's trained as well.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:03 pm

GH, I totally agree - to be complete and useful in marshes, fields, lakes, rivers, big boats, little boats, layout blinds, marsh platforms, pits ... a dog needs a great deal more formal training for waterfowl than upland birds.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby gwp4me2 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:30 pm

Nothing can replace Natural Ability. Like many have mentioned, training puts the polish on genetics. Every dog has some 'hunt' in them and a master polisher can bring that out. Every dog with good genetics will go all out to be a very good hunting dog in-spite of some of us knowing very little about polishing.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby oldtimer » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:22 pm

You can get great genetics from many different breeds, but what attracted me to DDs was the restricted breeding practices that the VDD practices BECAUSE genetics matter so much to me.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby hicntry » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:27 pm

I am shocked that guys that have been around working dogs all their lives are still beating this subject up.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Kiger2 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:53 pm

Slistoe,
A FC ret , You absoulutely have to train the advanced marking and memory. We often talk about a pup being a good natural marker. And to an extent thats true. But they will never be really proficient at marking without formal training.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby slistoe » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:58 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Slistoe,
A FC ret , You absoulutely have to train the advanced marking and memory. We often talk about a pup being a good natural marker. And to an extent thats true. But they will never be really proficient at marking without formal training.

Are you telling me that you can train any and every retriever to mark 5 falls and remember them for 25+ minutes?
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